Beitio bags double as Southampton Masters cruise to bounty at Royal Navy Championships

Perhaps a sense of irony that the Southampton Master to shine at this year’s Royal Navy Championships hails from Spain…something which I’m sure King Henry VIII wouldn’t have necessarily seen coming when he founded the crowning glory of Britain’s armed forces nearly 500 years ago!


Last years’ event was toyed with calendar-wise given the movement of the National Long Course Championships to early April, in order to allow time for Masters to register qualifying time ahead of Europeans. Thankfully, 2017 saw order restored, and a welcome break in the otherwise spartan early months of the annual competition cycle. A slightly lower turnout across the board was to be expected, but nonetheless, there were jewels to be found amongst the chest of gold on offer when it came to performance.

Beitio Martinez (30-34yrs) joined Southampton Masters several years’ back whilst working as a part-time lifeguard at The Quays. His primary profession of Spanish teacher at Secondary Schools across the South lead to a sporadic training attendance, but with a more settled outlook now on the horizon, the 30-year-old has begun to embrace the world of competitive swimming once more. An impressive 50m Breaststroke (00.32.11) gave CSSC its first title of the day, and ranked Martinez in the top three across all age-divisions. A slightly below-par 50m F/C (00.26.48) due to google malfunction saw the Spaniard slip to 4th, only to bounce back in the preferred 100m Breaststroke (01.11.10) and take home his second gold of the games.

Fighting in the same age-division was Anthony Blake (30-34yrs), looking to build upon his hindered start the season at the Long Course SE Regional Championships back in January. The 400m F/C (06.47.66) was a noticeable improvement both in time and approach to the distance, and earned the Irishman a welcome Bronze. The same colour followed in the 50m Breaststroke (00.44.49), whilst the 100m Breaststroke (01.37.10) and 100m F/C (01.24.77) fell just short of the podium. To round off the age group, the now regular Rob Langan (30-34yrs) stuck to familiar territory in the 100m Back (01.07.89) and 50m Back (00.31.18) to earn Gold and Silver respectively.

James MacTavish (35-39yrs) is no stranger to mixing up his programme year on year – and 2017 is proving to be no exception. Looking to make a mark in the first year of the new age-division, a strong 400m F/C (04.43.78) was enough to take the debut title. A string of solid performances followed in the 100m Butterfly (01.07.38), 50m F/C (00.26.98) and 100m F/C (00.59.78) laced with Silver and Bronze. A cumulative medal tally of six would have usually been enough to take home Top Male in the age group, sadly though the coach was undone by former Southampton University swimmer Jon Audis, whom dominantly secured titles across the Backstroke and Breaststroke events.

Finally, Peitor Solem (45-49yrs), having now finally made the transition across The Solent, set some impressive times across a myriad of distances, from 400m F/C (06.02.14) to 50m (00.43.67) and 100 Breast (01.39.44), but such was the surprise strength in the division that the 47-year-old could only manage a best place finish of 4th.

The Royal Navy Masters Meet is always a thoroughly entertaining and well organised affair – made all the more enjoyable knowing that entry fees directly support the forces and their ever-acknowledged work both domestically and overseas. The hope is that enthusiasm remains high for this event, as no-one can deny the good-natured purpose of its cause, and the selection of a top draw venue at Millfield School. Next year, a bit more red / white amongst the royal blue would be a bonus!

Full results from the meet are available to view on the Royal Navy Swimming website.

Well done all.

Medal Tally
GOLD : 4
TOTAL : 12

James MacTavish
CSSC Masters Coach